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Unilever's India Unit Warns Of Higher Prices As Costs Pressure Margins

By Donna Ahern
Unilever's India Unit Warns Of Higher Prices As Costs Pressure Margins

Hindustan Unilever Ltd, India's largest consumer goods maker, warned on Tuesday that high inflation will dent its margins in the current quarter and could result in higher prices of its products.

High commodity prices forced the India unit of Unilever to raise prices across its main segments, including household care, skin and hair cleansing products, in the quarter ended June.

Under Pressure

Hindustan Unilever (HUL) expects margins to remain under pressure in the September quarter and growth to be driven by price hikes, the company said on Tuesday.

"If commodity prices taper further, then we should start seeing favourable impact in our books from the December quarter," Ritesh Tiwari, chief financial officer, said on a post-earnings call.

"We will continue to take calibrated price actions."

India's annual consumer inflation, which touched multi-year highs in the past few months, eased marginally to 7.01% in June.

HUL sold products worth 140.16 billion rupees during the June quarter.

Beauty and Personal Care 

Sales of the company's home care products, including brands such as Surf Excel and Vim, jumped nearly 30% to 49.31 billion rupees, while the beauty and personal care segment grew 17%.

HUL's profit rose to 22.89 billion rupees ($286.36 million) for the three months ended June 30, compared with analysts' estimates of 21.93 billion rupees, according to Refinitiv data.

Read More: Unilever Warns Of More Price Hikes As Cost Pressures Build

News by Reuters, edited by Checkout. For more A-brand stories, click here. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.

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